Garmin announced Tuesday the release of a single-sided power meter, the Vector S, which measures power generated by the left leg to estimate total power, similar to the Stages Power meter.
The Vector S uses the same technology as the full-suite Vector setup, but removes the measurement and transmission hardware from the right pedal. Price drops by almost half, relative to the Vector, down to $900. The Vector S can be easily upgraded to measure both left and right power simply by purchasing a new right pedal, available for $700.
The Vector system, first launched in 2013, has a retail cost of $1,600—the combined price of the new Vector S left-side pedal and optional right-side pedal.
The Vector works by measuring deflection in the pedal spindle and combining that data with information from its built-in accelerometer to calculate power output. The system had some early teething troubles—setup requires a torque wrench, and improper setup leads to incorrect power readings—but has proven to be reliable in VeloNews testing over the past year. The Vector S cuts costs by cutting hardware, calculating power from the left leg just as the regular Vector does, then simply doubling that figure to provide total power. Stages utilizes a similar concept, measuring power via flex in the left crank arm and doubling that figure to provide total power.
The Stages Power meter is still a bit cheaper, with a retail price of $700 when mounted to a SRAM Rival or Shimano 105 crank arm, but that price goes up when it is paired with more expensive cranksets. The Vector S will work on any crank that is 12-15mm thick and less than 44mm wide — that includes the vast majority of cranksets currently on the market.
The Vector S will be available this fall.
Garmin also announced a new suite of metrics called Cycling Dynamics. Learn more at Velonews.com.